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Ryan Pool’s 3-Step Plan to Reframe Your Story

apraxia dyslexia guest

We recently had the honor of sitting down with the inspiring, Ryan Pool. Ryan is a high schooler who is taking on the world!

Ryan is an entrepreneur and nationally ranked tennis player. In May, he secured funding from Orange County investors for his most recent business, Tennisify. He serves as an Ambassador for Economics for Leaders and coaches tennis in his spare time. 

Ryan trains hard on and off the tennis court. When not playing, you’ll find him asking questions and soaking up learning opportunities. His mission is to make the world a better place through innovation, using kindness, drive, and curiosity.

Ryan was diagnosed with apraxia of speech at two years old, and dyslexia as a kindergartener. He has big ideas but slow processing time and works hard to understand how to optimize his brain. He’s grateful for his amazing tutors, teachers, and mentors who taught him how to advocate for himself and others.

During our conversation with Ryan, he shared with us his message that dyslexia is his superpower and that his challenges have cultivated his successes. For Ryan, it is all about reframing your own story. Today, we want to share his 3-step plan with you! 

Here is an explanation of Ryan’s 3 step plan to reframe your story: 

Grab a pen and paper, your journal, or simply open the notes app on your phone and try this!

Step #1 - Write it down

Write down your most annoying weakness or struggle. That thing that just consistently bites at you. For many, this will be dyslexia or an additional language or brain-based learning difference. Name it and write it down. 

Step #2 - Identify the difference

Think about what it is that you have to do differently from others as a result of this struggle. Think about how this struggle differentiates you from others. Ryan refers to this as your “Unfair Mountain”. This might be that you have to work harder than others. It might be that you have to put in more effort than others. Write that down, too.  

Step #3 - Acknowledge the strength

Now, think about how that struggle and that “Unfair Mountain” are creating a strength. This might be how working harder than others and having to put in more effort than others creates a strong work ethic throughout your life. This can also lead to an incredible drive and tenacity. What is that for you? Write that down too.  

Take it one step further: Now that you have this written down, let’s take it one step further. Don’t just keep it for yourself, share it with others. Sharing your challenges and strengths will help others to better understand. 

For example, let others know… 

  • “I have dyslexia”
  • “Because of my dyslexia, I have to…”
  • “Because I have to…, I have become really good at…”

Destigmatize Challenge Into Strength

It is vital that we get out of our comfort zone. If you never put yourself in a position to fail, you're not gonna be able to succeed. If you never try to create that business, you're never going to create the business. You may fail over and over again, but you're putting yourself in that challenging position. Whether you win or you lose, you learn from the challenge. 

If you’re able to destigmatize challenge into strength, it creates such a huge ripple effect, that then affects so many people's lives.

Ryan recently gave a TEDx talk that you can view here. For more from Ryan, connect with him on Instagram.

For our full conversation with Ryan Pool, check out our latest episode of the Together in Literacy podcast. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to rate, leave a positive review, and subscribe!

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